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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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Poland), on July 13, a second attack was made on a train at the same spot-
twenty Germans were killed, thirty wounded. A goods train was derailed
on the line from. Oswiecim to Trzebinia near Cracow. This is the fifth
case of a train derailed near Oswiecim,"
As a result of this constant danger which threatened their communi-
cations, the Germans found the usual protection given to stations, bridges
and key points inadequate. They were forced to create special units to
escort every military train, to employ armoured trains to protect the
railway and to fortify the stations. Here they benefitted from the example
of the Soviets for the latter considered the population over a vast area to
be unreliable, and every military train was preceded by an engine c escort/
The Germans applied a similar method in Poland and, as a result, traffic
was slowed down and the effectiveness of the railway decreased. History
will reveal the extent of the influence of this action on the issue of the
battle of the Eastern front. One of the Polish underground periodicals
declared, with how much truth it is difficult to determine, that the Battle
of Stalingrad was won eighty per cent by the Russians and twenty per cent
by the Polish Home Army, who held up the German supplies. It is
known that the German Panzer Army, when endeavouring to rescue the
beleaguered Army of General Von Paulus in Stalingrad, was halted fifty
miles from their goal through the insufficiency of their petrol supply.
The German authorities recognised the existence of the Polish Army
as a military force, and this alone confirmed that the war on Polish soil
had never ceased. They referred to one of the concentration camps in
Majdanek in Central Poland as * a grisoner-of-war camp,* and acknow-
ledged every inmate to be a soldier of the Polish Underground Army, and
a prisoner-of-war.
One of the important tasks of the Underground Authorities was to save
the lives of the political prisoners. Raids on German prisons took place
at Biafystok, Lomza, Kielce, Konskie, Pinsk, and many hundreds of
men were released. At Rowne, in the course of a prison revolt., the
Germans killed all the prisoners. On March 25, 1943, Polish forces
attacked a motor lorry containing twenty-four political prisoners, who
were being driven from the Gestapo headquarters to the Pawiak prison.
This was in full daylight at 5-30 p.m. and in the centre of Warsaw. Five
of the Gestapo escort were killed and three wounded in this clash. One
prisoner lost his life, all the others escaped.*
An attack was made on the prison hospital in Lwow, where more
people were released. In Mielec, Polish forces captured the prison, and
rescued all those held under arrest. The journal Rzeczpospolita Pokka,
the organ of the Government's Plenipotentiary in Poland, gave the
following communique from the e Directorate of Civil Resistance * in
its issue of June 21:
* " The Polish Underground Anny>" Polish Fortnightly Review* No, 84, London,
January 15th, 1944.